Logan Taylor served his country, and now his family wants the Department of Veterans Affairs to properly care for him.
So far, they say that hasn’t happened.
They're suing the VA for alleged substandard care that, they say, resulted in him losing both his legs to gangrene.
“He wasn't treated like a human being and he definitely wasn't treated like a veteran,” said his brother, Robert Taylor.
Logan, 71, is non-responsive and currently living in a nursing home.
In between his shifts as a Dallas sanitation worker, Robert pays visits to his brother. He says Logan is not the man he once knew.
“He was a normal person, lively, liked for people to laugh,” Robert recalled. "He liked to dance.”
But for Logan, his dancing days are over. When Logan returned home from Vietnam, he had both legs. How he lost them is now a battle for the courts to decide.
The VA denies any wrongdoing. Robert blames them for mismanaging his brother’s care.
“They shipped him around like a bag of potatoes – sent him out of state, from state to state,” he said.
News 8 Investigates obtained Logan's medical records.
They show he was taken to a hospital in Marshall, Tx., with hypothermia during the winter of 2013. From there, he was transferred to the VA hospital in Shreveport, La.
While there for two weeks and under the care of the VA, medical records show Logan developed gangrene. A VA doctor recommended his left leg be amputated.
Logan was sent to the Dallas VA hospital to have the surgery, but that surgery never happened.
“I went out to the Dallas veterans' hospital one evening looking for my brother and he wasn't there,” Robert said. “Nobody could tell me where he was.”
Robert says the VA discharged Logan to a nursing home without ever notifying him, even though he is one of Logan’s legal guardians.
By the time Logan arrived at the nursing home “his feet were black,” Robert recalled. “You could see the bone.”
“The doctor said, ‘This man has gangrene and his legs need to be cut off.’”
The nursing home doctor sent Logan to an area hospital for emergency surgery. Records show gangrene had taken over Logan’s legs. Both were amputated.
“If they had properly diagnosed the problem and administered treatment to try to get that blood flow going into his lower extremities, there is a very good possibility, if not likelihood, that they could've saved one or both his lower extremities,” said Brad Kizzia, an attorney representing the Taylor family.
“I could look at his legs and tell that they were dead in the Dallas VA,” Robert said. “So, they knew he had gangrene.”
Why did Logan spend nearly three weeks at the Dallas VA to then be shipped off to a nursing home without the surgery medical records say he was supposed to undergo?
Logan’s medical records provide no explanation.
Though, inside the discharge summary, News 8 discovered this unfinished sentence: “The patient's diagnosis and plan of care were discussed with him and his understanding was [blank].”
“They didn't do what they normally do in a discharge situation, and that is discuss the situation with the patient, where they're going, why they're going, why they're being discharged,” Kizzia said.
“They told my sister, my family, that they needed the bed,” Robert said.
News 8 asked the Dallas VA to sit down and talk about Logan’s treatment, but a spokesperson declined, saying in order to do so, the VA would need a medical release from the family.
News 8 got that release and gave it to the VA, which again declined to talk about Logan’s treatment. This time, they cited the pending litigation as the reason.
Concerned Veterans for America’s National Outreach director, Cody McGregor, says stories like Logan's aren't uncommon.
“It's extremely troubling,” McGregor said. “Unfortunately, it's not a surprise.”
Logan’s case is one in a series of ongoing complaints against the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is the second largest department in federal government and set to receive $180 billion dollars from President Obama’s 2017 budget.
But just last month, more evidence surfaced that the problems continue.
The VA Office of Inspector General found that Houston area VA staff were manipulating records to misrepresent patient wait times.
“You've got to wonder -- what's more dangerous, the combat zone you came home from, or the VA hospital that you have to go to in order to get care,” McGregor said.